Jan 26 (Reuters) – A top aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that Ukrainian government officials who shirk their duties during the war will be quickly removed.
More than a dozen officials were fired this week in the wake of a series of scandals and allegations of graft. Political analysts said Zelensky needs to show his Western partners and war-weary Ukrainians that he is serious about punishing misrule.
Andrei Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, said: “Everyone should understand their level of responsibility to the state and nation during the war. Whoever forgets about it receives a quick reaction.”
“This will happen to everyone who allows himself to be forgotten (his duties), regardless of names and offices,” Yermak wrote on Twitter.
Among the most prominent cases is that of the deputy defense minister, who resigned after a report denied that his department had paid exorbitant prices to feed the troops.
A presidential adviser who was called out by local media for driving flashy cars also resigned, as did a senior prosecutor who Ukrainian media reported went on holiday to Marbella in Spain, violating martial law.
Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed, millions uprooted and cities reduced to rubble since Russian forces invaded Ukraine 11 months ago.
The message was echoed on Thursday by an infuriated Zelensky, who said earlier in the week that officials and parliamentarians would henceforth be allowed to leave the country only on government missions.
“Unfortunately, I have to repeat it to the hard of hearing,” he said sternly in the video’s caption.
He said that apart from people who were allowed to travel, “there will be no further trips abroad by officials or deputies in wartime.” “I think that’s fair.”
(Reporting by David Leungren and Ron Popeski) Editing by Grant McCall
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